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What to expect during labiaplasty recovery

Labiaplasty surgery is used to create a neater appearance of the labia minora. Those who choose to have this type of cosmetic surgery notice increased confidence, reduced discomfort when wearing tight clothing and during sexual intercourse, and improved symmetry and size of the labia as a result. 

Many people are put off by the recovery process, but considering the benefits, it’s well worth it. Here’s everything you need to know about the labiaplasty recovery timeline.

March 28th, 2023 |Ask an Expert

What is labiaplasty surgery?

Labiaplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that reduces the protruding inner skin, to reduce the overall labia minora and give a much more symmetrical and neater appearance. 

The surgery takes between 30-60 minutes and can often include a hoodectomy (a surgery which reduces the size of the clitoral hood), and is done under general anaesthetic. 

When the surgery is complete, you will be taken into a recovery suite to be brought back around safely and monitored by one of our MYA nurses. You can leave the hospital once you have been checked over by your surgeon and the medical team are happy to discharge you - in most cases, this is the same day of surgery or the morning after if you choose to stay overnight.

Before you leave, you will be given prescribed pain relief, sanitary pads, and antibiotics to take with you to aid the recovery process.

The labiaplasty recovery timeline

After a cosmetic surgery procedure, it’s important to remember that every patient heals at different rates. However, there are common side effects patients experience when it comes to the labiaplasty recovery timeline

Week one

After being discharged from the hospital, you will be prescribed anti-inflammatories and painkillers to reduce discomfort - your nurse will advise you on dosages specific to your requirements. 

In this first week of labiaplasty recovery, it’s normal to experience some bleeding, difficulty when walking, and discomfort when urinating. Patients are advised to keep their incisions clean and dry following labiaplasty. Patients should not have a bath or submerge themselves in water until 10 days post-op, but can have a shower 24 hours after their procedure. 

Towards the end of the week, the swelling around your vulva will start to reduce, giving you an idea of what it will look like when it’s fully healed.

After one week, you can also return to work. However, depending on how you’re healing (and your job type), you may be required to take an extra week off - your MYA nurse will give you more information on this.

Week two 

It’s important to remember that everyone heals at different rates and to focus on your recovery journey and not others. Here at MYA, we use dissolvable stitches for labiaplasties - it takes around two weeks for them to fully dissolve. This way, the patient can fully recover at home without having to visit a clinical hub to get the stitches removed. 

Week three 

After your stitches are fully dissolved, you’ll start to feel much more comfortable sitting and less sensitive at the halfway mark of the labiaplasty recovery timeline

Weeks four to five 

You’ll nearly be fully recovered! 

Similar to the previous week, things will continue to get a lot more comfortable. While you shouldn’t have sex or take part in high-intensity exercises yet, it’s important to stay positive in the last few weeks, as you’re almost at the end of your labiaplasty recovery timeline

Week six 

After six weeks, you will typically be fully recovered. You can now use tampons, have sex, and exercise as normal. We always recommend consulting your MYA nurse and clinical team before doing so

Labiaplasty recovery tips 

While there isn’t necessarily a way to speed up the recovery process, there are a few things you can do to ease discomfort in the initial 6-week recovery period. 

  • Attend labiaplasty follow-up appointments

    After your surgery, you will be booked in for appointments with our nurses and your surgeon to assess your progress. 

    It’s important you attend every labiaplasty follow-up appointment, as it’s a chance for you to ask any questions and for our team to ensure you’re healing properly. 

  • Use cold compresses 

    As bruising and swelling are common side effects of labiaplasty recovery, using something cold can reduce any tightness you may experience. 

    You can also put sanitary pads in the freezer! This is great for the first 1-3 weeks of recovery when swelling and bruising are at their worst.

  • Refrain from sexual activities 

    We know it might be difficult, but you must  avoid sex for 6 weeks post-op. Any form of penetration to the vulva can damage the newly formed tissue, so you should ease off until it’s completely healed. 

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and underwear

    If you usually opt for a g-string and form-fitting trousers, we recommend you buy some cotton pants and stay away from tight jeans during your recovery. It will make things a lot more comfortable for you. Soft cotton underwear allows the skin to breathe and reduces irritation. 

  • Irrigate the area when urinating

    While painkillers and antibiotics will be helpful for labiaplasty pain management, it’s normal to experience a burning sensation when urinating. This is really common and nothing to worry about, but it doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. 

    To reduce this, pour lukewarm water over the labiaplasty incision when urinating. 

  • Take it slow

    When it comes to cosmetic surgery, there is always an element of emotional recovery. This should be taken just as seriously as the physical side. 

    While a benefit of labiaplasty is improved confidence, this may not come straight away, so be kind to yourself and keep the end goal in mind. 

    If you’re struggling and need like-minded people to talk to, check out the MYA Forum - a place where you can learn from and talk to those in the same situation as you. From recovery tips to support, it’s the perfect place to chat with past, present, and future cosmetic surgery patients. 

Learn more about labiaplasty with MYA 

If you want to know more about labiaplasty recovery, or the surgery itself, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team - we’re more than happy to answer any of your questions. 

Alternatively, you can book a FREE e-consultation to speak to one of our experts directly and learn more about labiaplasty surgery.

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